This page aims to provide you with information about your lease, service charge, your responsibilities as a leaseholder and our responsibilities as the freeholder.
We have created this short video to give you an overview of what it means to be a leaseholder.
Please note all information provided is generic and this does not replace your lease which is a legally binding document and should be referred to for specific advice.
This handbook has been created to explain your lease, your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder, and provide useful information about the services we offer to you as a leaseholder.
As the freeholder, it is our responsibility to ensure the building. A summary of the insurance policy can be found here.
It is your responsibility to ensure the contents within your home and we advise you to take out insurance to cover this.
Your lease sets out your obligations to pay service charges to us.
Service charges are amounts payable towards the annuals cost of managing, maintaining the building, its services, and communal areas. The annual cost is then apportioned by your lease.
Your service charge invoice will be sent to you in April and is calculated based on the actual charges for repairs undertaken the previous financial year as well as estimated charges for the services such as communal electricity for the up and coming financial year.
For those estimated charges we will send you a service charge statement in September which will breakdown if there has been and underspend (deficit) or an overspend (surplus) on the service charges charged to you in April. Any over or underspend will be applied to the service charge for the invoice sent in the coming April.
Your service charge should be paid in full within 60 days from the date of the invoice.
A range of payment methods is available to leaseholders:
- Direct Debit
- All-Pay Payment Card
- Automated ‘Touchtone’ telephone service
- Internet payment via SLH website
You can pay here on our website by following the ‘Make Your Payment’ link here: https://pay.allpay.net/southlakes/reference/create/?merchantId=20043027
Or you can pay by Direct Debit over 12 equal instalments which needs to be arranged within 30 days from the date of the invoice. To set up a Direct Debit please call us on 0300 303 8540.
Automated 24-hour Allpay payment line
You can pay your rent at any time by calling 0330 041 6497 and following the instructions.
If you choose this method, you will need your 19-digit Payment Reference Number.
Post Office or Paypoint outlet
You can pay your rent at any Post Office or Paypoint outlet using a payment card. To find your nearest payment outlet, log on to www.allpay.net/outlets To request a card please contact us.
When you receive an invoice for your service charge it must be accompanied by a summary of the rights and obligations of the tenant. For more information on this please visit: https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/summaries-rights-obligations-service-charges-england/
Buying or Selling a Lease
Selling your lease
If you bought your property from us under the Right to Buy, you are subject to a five-year discount repayment period meaning you will need to repay a percentage of the discount you received at the time of purchasing.
In addition to this, if you sell your property within the first 10 years you must give us, the right of first refusal on the property.
If you did not buy your property through the Right to Buy Scheme you are not subject to the above restrictions
Once you accept and offer, you and the purchased instruct respective solicitors to deal with the sale. We will need to provide your solicitor with information about the property by completing a Leasehold Property Enquiry form (commonly known as LPE1). The charge for this information is £100 (January 2021) and is subject to VAT.
The information provided:
- Copies of service charge accounts for the property for the past three years
- The most recent estimated service charge account for the property
- Details of any outstanding major works liability
- A schedule of future planned works for the block or estate
- A copy extract of our insurance policy
Buying a lease
If we are the freeholder of the property you wish to buy, you need to instruct your solicitor to request an assignment pack from the seller’s solicitor.
Once the sale is complete you need to make sure that your solicitor sends us a copy of the transfer with a payment of £5 to ensure we can register you as the new leaseholder.
Extending Your Lease
A residential lease is granted for a specific term. At the expiration of this term, the property reverts to the landlord. Once a lease has been granted the term immediately begins to get shorter. Qualifying leaseholders can buy, at a fair price, 90 years to add on to what is left on their existing lease. To qualify you must have owned the property for at least 2 years.
It is always advised that the lease is extended before less than 80 years remain on the lease before marriage value is payable, which drastically increases the price of the extension. Please contact us if you need further advice or please visit: https://www.lease-advice.org/fact-sheet/lease-extension-flats/
You should always refer to your lease and whilst our leasehold services team are happy to offer advice and guidance, you may also need to seek independent advice from either your solicitor, local Citizens Advice Bureau or please visit the Leasehold Advisory Service.
The Leasehold Advisory Service can help you. If you cannot find the answer to your question on their website www.lease-advice.org you can call one of their trained, specialist lawyers on 020 7832 2500 for FREE legal advice.
The service is government-funded and completely free to you.